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Related to strait: Strait of Magellan, Bering Strait

be in dire straits

To be in a very bleak or grim situation. All of those recent layoffs indicate that the company is in dire straits. I was in dire straits there for a while, but I'm feeling much better after my hospital stay.
See also: dire, strait

in dire straits

In a very bleak or grim situation. The recent nosedive in the stock market has left many companies in dire straits. I was in dire straits there for a while, but I'm feeling much better after my hospital stay.
See also: dire, strait

in dire straits

Fig. in a very serious, bad circumstance. We are nearly broke and need money for medicine. We are in dire straits.
See also: dire, strait

desperate straits

A very difficult situation. The noun “strait,” usually in the plural (straits), has been used since the 1600s to mean a dilemma of some kind. One of the earliest pairings with “desperate” was in Harriet Martineau’s The History of England during the Thirty Years’ Peace (1849): “Never were Whig rulers reduced to more desperate straits.” Today the term is used both seriously and ironically, as in “We’re in desperate straits today—the newspaper never arrived.”
See also: desperate, strait

dire straits, in

In an awful situation, terrible circumstances. The adjective “dire,” which dates from the mid-1500s, is rarely heard today except in this cliché and one other phrase, dire necessity, which uses it more or less hyperbolically (as, for example, in Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s 1836 letter, “The dire necessity of having every window in the house open . . .”). In contrast, the cliché describes a genuine difficulty or danger, as in “The stock-market crash left him in dire straits financially.” Also the name of a British rock band active from 1977 to 1995.
See also: dire
References in periodicals archive ?
At just 21-nautical miles wide at its narrowest point, the Strait of Hormuz is considered the most important oil chokepoint in the world, explained global analytics company Refinitiv in a special report, noting that more than a third of global seaborne crude oil exports travel through the Strait, which links the big Middle Eastern producers with customers worldwide.
Hence, these routes provide a degree of protection against the Strait's potential closure.
The Iranian diplomat made the comments after Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa claimed Iran "will not be allowed to close for one day the Strait of Hormuz".
Since Iran now sends 100 percent of its oil exports through the Strait, to close the Strait in such a case would be shooting itself in the foot.
Yesterday, Rouhani announced that he planned to move Iran's main oil export terminal out of the Strait of Hormuz, and into the Oman Sea.
Threatened by destructive commercial fishing, Tanon Strait is an important fishing ground in Western Visayas.
State Department said that the United States welcomes the Xi-Ma meeting as Washington "has a deep and abiding interest in peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait."
SANAA - As they advance south, Yemen's Iran-linked Huthi militiamen are moving within striking distance of the strategic Bab al-Mandab strait, a vital corridor through which much of the world's maritime trade passes.
Strait Minerals is a mineral exploration company engaged in four projects in Peru.
The advice in this article links directly to Capability 1 from the Capability Framework--Teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander EAL/D learners
Rick and Pat Strait of Eugene recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
During the MDHA Lobby Day, Senator Ron Richard (R) from Joplin, Mo., presented a special proclamation from the Missouri Senate to Tia Strait, RDH, EdD, dean of the School of Health Sciences, Public Safety and Technology at Missouri Southern State University (MSSU).
in case you should discover any creek or opening likely to lead to an inland sea or strait [original emphasis], you are at liberty, either to examine it or not, as you shall judge it most expedient, until a more favourable opportunity shall enable you so to do.
11) designation of the Taipei branch of the Bank of China (BOC) as the renminbi clearance bank in Taiwan, thereby kicking off the cross-Taiwan Strait currency clearance mechanism.